Monday, April 14, 2014

San Juan

First, congratulations to Alexis on the birth of their second daughter! Yay!!!

Got so busy that I forgot to post pictures of our vacation to Puerto Rico. It was unbelievably nice to be warm again, especially after our awful winter. Unlike when we got married in August, there was very little humidity accompanying the 85 degree days. Warmth is awesome. My sister Lori and her family were down there as well and our trips overlapped a few days. Thus we hung out at their pool and went to their beach during the day and they came to our free wine happy hour before heading to dinner downtown in the evenings. It was a nice swap.

We found out that the pina coladas at the Caribe Hilton are not that good and that they ARE very good at Barrachino's and La Concha Hotel. Good information to know!!

For only the second time that I can remember, I rented a car on a trip in another country, though PR is technically not another country I guess. Still, I couldn't translate the signs so I'm counting it. The $40 per day car rental helped me avoid the $200+ cab/limo fees to and from the golf courses. Well worth it! Though one of the courses was pretty awful, the other one, El Legando, was pretty sweet and only $60.

We ate at all the old places: Cafe Puerto Rico, Cafeteria Mallorca, Barrachino, Cafe El Punto (awesome stuffed avocados that are huge!) and at the Hotel El Convento (where LL had them recreate our wedding dinner, which I was physically unable to consume the first time around). And we tried two new places La Cueva del Mar for seafood and Don Esteban which is a little mom and pop place not far from the rain forest.

Now for pictures!

Hotel El Convento from the courtyard.

The El Convento church from the hotel.

The new courtyard look. This was all open for our wedding. They've added the bar on the right and they have a partially retractable roof now to cover more tables during meals. A wedding in the courtyard would definitely not be as nice as ours. 

LL on the patio during one of our nightly happy hours at El Convento.

In the courtyard before our "wedding" meal. If you didn't recall, I was so nervous about singing to LL at the rehearsal dinner (a surprise inserted in front of our first dance), that I couldn't eat the wonderful meal we were serving our guest. Having never been that nervous before (and not realizing I even WAS nervous), my body started to shut down and I almost left the reception for the bedroom. Right after the song was done though, I was 100% again.

A quick shot of the meal, or part of it at least. We also had white sangria which is amazing there.

From the beach at the Caribe Hilton.

My first infinity pool, this one at La Concha. It actually looks like it goes into the ocean doesn't it? We are like 75 yards from the edge of the ocean in this picture.

The golf course, about 45 minutes away which in PR is "forever". 

This dude was huge! Probably 4'+ snout to tail. 

This was the big guy's little partner, much brighter and smaller. It went running when I drove up in the golf cart.

Our standard breakfast at Cafeteria Mallorca. Not as good as La Bombonerra, but pretty good. LB closed down for renovations and over ownership issues, re-opening soon though.

Cafe Puerto Rico shrimp stuffed plantain bowls. Yum.

Pork stuffed avocado at Cafe El Punto. 

The first and tallest waterfall in the rain forest. 

Just a rain forest shot of a big tree.

The small waterfall into which I fell. I was being very careful since the water was very cold and the rocks slippery. I went to take a step and there was no bottom. Too late, down I went. It was about five feet deep, just enough to completely engulf me in freezing cold water.

Here's Marissa talking to as via FaceTime as we did almost every night. I don't think she understood that it was really us. 

Friday, April 04, 2014

Back from San Juan

The weather is still crap in Chicago, but it was nice to have a week in San Juan.  Unfortunately, as often is the case with vacations, I was super busy leading up to the trip and have work piled up now. So I'll try to tell the story with some pictures and maybe even a video:

Probably my favorite picture to date!

Perfect example of Marissa wobbling down the hall with that great look on her face.

She has gotten into cleaning....I guess that's good huh?

Seriously, cleaning and laundry.

Waiting expectantly for her aunt to come push her down the stairs (inside family joke).

The first picture of her walking down the aisle. Can't wait to break this out on her wedding day.

She loves eating and making a mess....guess it's good that she cleans.

Earlier on walking while holding cups. She walks much better now.

Identifying herself in a picture. So cute!!